Pill cuts worst effects from COVID-19

Drugmaker Merck said its experimental pill for people sick with COVID-19 reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half.

By

National News

October 1, 2021 - 4:51 PM

Lab manager Robyn Schuman holds blood samples to be tested for Covid-19 at the Bellville Medical Center, in Bellville, Texas, Sept. 1, 2021. (Francois Picard/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a potential leap forward in the global fight against the pandemic, drugmaker Merck said Friday that its experimental pill for people sick with COVID-19 reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half.

That could add a whole new easy-to-use weapon to an arsenal that already includes the COVID-19 vaccine.

The company said it will soon ask health officials in the U.S. and around the world to authorize the pill’s use. A decision from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could come within weeks after that, and the drug, if it gets the OK, could be distributed quickly soon afterward.

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